Thoughts on life after death are generally divided into two differing opinions: skeptic or believer. The former insist that people cease to exist once they die and that there is nothing past the material realm…
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Skeptics argue that consciousness is merely a fabrication of the brain, and near-death experiences (NDEs) are fantasies created by the brain. Believers, in contrast, insist that there is survival after death. Many researchers have explained this idea that survival after death exists in a non-physical state where our souls take over and continues as the human body and the brain are not the sole determinants of our existence that is, we have a conscience; nonetheless, others believe that once we die we cease to exist as there is nothing past the material realm. Apparently, for the Catholic Church, the notion of life after death is embedded within the innermost part of the core teaching of the Church. There is the belief that the deeds here on earth will largely determine fate in the afterlife. For instance, if the person had been faithful and was a good person in his lifetime, there is a greater chance that he will be adjudged worthy of entering heaven and be reunited with God. Nevertheless, this is only one of the countless interpretations and conjectures about what happens to a person when he dies. The Soul and the After Life A critical and almost universal element in the different perspectives of life after death is the existence of the soul. This is the bedrock of all beliefs that rationalize transcendence as opposed to complete and utter cessation of life. Simply put, the soul is considered part of the human essence. In Catholicism, the soul animates the material body and is key to understanding man’s capability for reasoning and morality. Aside from the fact that the soul is an indispensable component of human existence in Christian belief, it also underpins most themes of natural law, which holds that there is the existence of rational order in human nature that is independent of human will and is articulated as laws and moral imperatives. The soul, hence, is not just a figment of someone’s imagination or a myth perpetuated by religion. It is related to the concept of conscience, which sets human apart from all animals. Most people, even atheists, believe in the soul and the rational explanation for its existence (Theos 10). Therefore, regardless of what happens to it after death, there is the recognition that when the material body expires, the soul “lives on”. Finding Answers in Near Death Experiences There are also credible empirical evidences that can attest and confirm the existence of after life. Several case studies in Weiss works demonstrate some of these. Consider for instance, an account regarding multiple lives wherein the soul has lived in at least eighty-six physical states (Weiss, 1988, 28). There is also the all too familiar near death experience, which gave a glimpse of what must be the soul’s perspective. Weiss included one account in her work: “A conscious part of her would leave the body around the moment of death, floating above and 'then being drawn to a wonderful, energizing light. She would then wait for someone to come and help her. The soul automatically passed on. Embalming, burial rituals, or any other procedure after death had nothing to do with it. It was automatic, no preparation necessary, like walking through a just-opened door”(24). Eben Alexander provided another case of near death experience. What made his account interesting was the fact that he was a neurosurgeon and he only believed on the tangible evidence and what science could explain. He suffered a rare illness, which left in coma for seven days (7). In this period he was considered brain dead and the experience qualified as a near death experience when he eventually woke up. In order to tell his tale, he studied and collected
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“What Survives After Death Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 1000 Words”, n.d. https://studentshare.org/philosophy/1493089-what-survives-after-death.
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